Thursday, April 28, 2011

Miscellany And One Final Plea

Thank you thank you thank you for your humble and perfect responses to yesterday's post! I hope it was clear that I wasn't trying to say I was a terrible parent because of a few less than perfect incidents. It felt a little like confessing. I know that we can't be perfect or great or even good with our children every moment of every day - it was such an odd affirmation to hear your stories, or even just to hear that you had stories you weren't comfortable sharing. No one is perfect, amen. That is why I love the whole bloggy community thing. You are my village.


Oh wow, I am so so sorry about the weather down south yesterday. It's all horrifying. And after the recent massive tornadoes in other areas... this is not good for my severe weather anxiety. Twice this year we've had tornado watches that extend into the wee hours and I cannot make myself go to bed when we have that threat of severe weather. I'm an insanely sound sleeper 99% of the time and I have zero confidence that I would wake up if severe weather hit in the middle of the night. So I just stay up and wait. Last night we had a tornado watch that wasn't set to expire until 3 a.m. Fortunately it was lifted around 1 a.m. but that is still a late night, even for a night owl like me. Do any of you have weather radios? Would THAT wake me up at night? Suggestions please!


May I make a quick plug for the post office? I love the post office and now they are starting to make all the new stamps they release the "forever" kind - meaning they will still be good even when there are rate hikes in the future. So go ahead and stock up at $.44 a piece - they'll always work!

My cold is going away and my ankle is feeling much, much better. This is good news because our March for Babies is on Saturday! We've been in ark building mode here, so relentless is the rain, but Saturday it is going to be sunny and dry! Good omens all around! I would LOVE to see our amount raised hit the $2500 mark. Which means we need about $250 more. Many of you have already given, but if not, please consider lifting your couch cushions and peeking under the floor mats in the minivan and see if you can find even $5 to contribute. I'll say it again, every little bit adds up! And if you're really motivated to help you can send your own blog readers or Facebook followers our way, just have them follow this link. Thank you!

Michael and my dad say, "Come on! It's for the babies!"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Falling Down on the Job

I have had a few phenomenally bad parenting moments in the last couple of days. And I don't just mean reacting less than patiently when someone dumps and nearly full cup of juice all over the lunch table. As much as I cringe to think about them (one way worse than the other, but neither winning me any awards) I am going to share here with the hope that you will make me feel a little better by sharing your own semi-horrifying parenting moments or that someday someone else will be feeling badly and read this thinking, "Well at least I'm not the only one!"

The lesser of the offenses was brought to my attention this morning. I had paperwork from Michael's school because his "physician report" was outdated. We live right around the corner from our pediatrician so I assumed this would be no problem - after dropping the kids off this morning I hustled over there and was handing the paper off to the receptionist who thought she'd just check on the date of his three-year well visit. The only trouble being that he didn't have one. After all our winter illnesses and trips to the doctor I apparently overlooked the fact that he should have had another visit in there. I just completely and totally forgot. I think I also forgot his eighteen month appointment. Sorry, second child of mine. What is wrong with me? It isn't like we just had a busy month and I didn't get around to scheduling it - the thought of scheduling it never entered my mind.

So now it is scheduled, for Friday morning, and our paperwork will be straightened out by next week, but that was certainly an embarrassing couple of moments with the receptionist.

But now comes the really bad parenting moment - the one that could have had significantly tragic consequences and, I'll tell you right now, thankfully didn't end up badly. (Well unless you count my sobbing into a bowl of carrot peelings during dinner prep, which I don't.) Yesterday, late afternoon, I made a perfectly reasonable attempt to use the bathroom with a little privacy. A couple of minutes after I sat down, Matt returned home from work, walking into the house and yelling, "Where are you? Do you know that your children are outside?"  Um, no, I did not know that they children were outside (they couldn't have been out there for more than thirty seconds as I was moments before listening to the never-ending chorus of their arguing), I did not hear any doors open or shut, nor did I grant anyone permission to leave the house.

Even if we didn't live on a busy street (we do) and it wasn't about five p.m. and thereby an extra busy traffic time (it was) I would not let the children out into the front yard by themselves. Now I have, in the past, allowed Harper to walk to our curbside mailbox, which opens from the back, to place or retrieve some mail. BUT only during less busy traffic times and with my watching her every step from a front window.

What happened yesterday, apparently, was that Harper decided to take Michael outside to get the mail. And Matt pulled up as they were out in the yard. The chances of one of them getting abducted right out of our front yard are pretty slim, but, the way people on our street are prone to ignoring the 25mph speed limit, getting hit by a car is not so unlikely. By the time we, not so gently, hurried the kids back inside Matt was angry, I was angry and relieved and embarrassed and frustrated, and the kids were totally oblivious that they'd done anything upsetting. This is about when I burst into tears over the carrots because, really, is it so much to ask that I should be able to go to the bathroom without fear that my children are placing themselves in mortal danger and I am completely unaware of it? Should I still be bringing them into the bathroom with me?  Ugh.

I mean, miraculously, we're all still here and safe, missed doctor's appointments and random front yard wandering aside, but I'm still feeling a little inept.

Okay, your turn, feel free to go anonymous in the comments as you share your parenting mishaps - extra points if the children were technically in danger but not actually injured.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sure I'll Have Some Cheese

I feel as though I should warn you that this post might tend toward whining and you should feel free to skip/delete it from your reader and just come back later.

I pulled up the blog earlier today and the fact that it had been eight days since I'd posted was enough to make me groan and close the tab. For me blog writing is a lot easier if I am in a fairly consistent groove. If I miss an entire week my mind starts thinking, "Hmmm, was it really worth all that time? Maybe not."

I'm also sort of underwater on my blog-reading right now - which inevitably leads to a lot of skimming/skipping on my part and then always feeling a little wistful about what I might have missed.

Things kind of went off the rails after I twisted my ankle last week. I was uncomfortable and frustrated with my inability to do simple tasks without what felt like an inordinate amount of effort. And when I did start to feel a little less achy I was overwhelmed with all the catch up work I had to do to be ready to go to Wisconsin for Easter.

Our Easter was actually lovely and I will try to write more about it when my mood has improved a little.and I've downloaded some of the photos.

We left Wisconsin after dinner on Sunday night, planning to drive all the way home (about six hours from where we were celebrating). The thought was that the children would sleep in the car and maybe wake up for school on Monday. I was also hoping to avoid the hassle of unloading all of us into a hotel room for a few hours sleep and then hauling everything (or watching Matt haul everything) back to the car. We did make it all the way home (arriving around 1:30 a.m.) and the children did sleep in the car. Of course they also slept late enough not to make it to school. You know very well if we'd done the hotel thing they'd have sprung awake by 6:30 a.m. and then cried about not being close enough to get to school on time!

I also developed a cold sometime over Easter weekend. Sometime Thursday or Friday I started not to feel so great and it escalated to Saturday night when I had one of those fitful nights where you keep waking up and despairing that it isn't morning yet. On the drive home I went through four of those pocket packs of tissues. I could stuff a mattress with the tissues I've used in the last four days. It is just a run-of-the-mill cold but I could still do without.

That might be enough blathering for tonight. I've missed all of you!

Oh! This weekend is the March for Babies - if you were thinking about donating to our team, now is the time! Please look for the links to the right. Thanks!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Oops I Did It Again

So not that long ago I was having a conversation with someone and I was recalling a time in college when I'd run with friends and they would point out every curb, pothole, and uneven sidewalk so I didn't trip and injure myself. This is because I was prone to tearing the ligaments in my ankles - usually while I was running or playing sports - and they were trying to be helpful. Of course it is not all ALL humiliating to have people running beside you pointing out every inconsistency in the road... Can you see where this is going?

Today I was walking Michael in to school. I turned my head to remind him to try not to suck his thumb at school and misstepped on/off the curb. Next thing I knew my leg was buckling and I was feeling that all too familiar sensation of things popping and snapping as I fell none too gently to the ground. Grace is not my middle name. Fortunately (?) this move was executed in front of a bus driver, several teachers, and all the preschool parents and people thoughtfully came out to see Michael the rest of the way into school and assist with ice and things. I did manage to drive myself home - maybe not the smartest idea in the history of the world, but it was less than two miles and I only had to stop for two lights and to turn into my driveway.

Sigh. So we've had to move a dentist appointment and work out some other arrangements to get the kids back and forth from school tomorrow in case it doesn't seem wise to drive. I'm not even going to think about the rest of this week - when I should be doing laundry, packing, and gathering Easter Bunny items - GOOD THING I did my Easter shopping early or we'd be in some real trouble...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My Life in Music

I am pretty sure I've always loved music. My first real musical love was Madonna. Other early favorites were Cyndi Lauper and Debbie Gibson. But sometime in junior high/high school two things happened. The first was that my musical tastes started to be influenced by songs I heard around summer camp campfires. The second was a friend introducing me to the music of the Indigo Girls. I have diverse-ish musical tastes but the type of music I gravitate toward most is of the singer/songwriter variety. I still purchase music, having it playing in the house and car all the time, often request/receive CDs as gifts, make mix tapes, and see live music whenever I can (generally not that often).

Many of the artists I listen to I associate with specific times in my life - for example I still have a crystal clear mental picture of the little yellow boom box I had when I first heard Ellis Paul's music, specifically his song, "Did I Ever Know You," on a mix tape a friend had given me. It was the winter of 1998, my senior year of college, living in a house with five of my best friends. Later that school year, in April of 1999, I heard Ellis Paul live for the first time. He is a master performer and storyteller. Since that first show I have convinced many a friend to come see Ellis with me in Ohio, Kentucky, and Wisconsin. I have probably seen him perform eight or nine times in the last twelve years.

I enjoy his shows so much I can't even complain about the fact that we had to wait half an hour in the rain for the doors to open at the venue where Ellis played last night. None of the four people who came to the show with me had ever seen him but I think they were all glad they'd come along. In case you missed it a couple of years ago I posted videos from a December 2008 Ellis Paul show - go ahead and click through to enjoy.

Ages ago I received an email from Ellis Paul's manager containing a link to a free download off of his most recent recording. I already owned the CD, but you can find the free song download here. He also has a recording of children's music (and more on the way, I hope) that is definitely worth investigating if you have children.

Ellis Paul's songs are moving stories and whether they make me smile or cry I am always touched when I listen to his music.

I hope my kids grow up loving music as much as I do - as I sat at the show last night I found myself wondering how old Harper would need to be before she could come with me - probably quite a bit as the show wasn't over until 11:30. She'll be a lucky girl if Ellis is still touring once she is old enough to tag along.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

On April 14th

Today is my mom's birthday. Happy day to you, Mom!

The weather was gorgeous here today - hovering around seventy degrees, not a cloud to be seen... so it seemed like a perfect day for our first 2011 visit to the arboretum. I love to go this time of year to get a look at the spring blooms, especially the tulips.

Often my mom has visited us this time of year and I've been especially missing her this week as everything burst into color. Soon the landscape with be dotted with pink-purple redbud trees and Harper will remind me, every time we see one, how much my mother likes them.

I long ago accepted that we would live far away from my parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents. I love my life here and the family I have nearby. I know that I'm fortunate to have good relationships with our family members that are spread out across the country.

But on days like today I wish I could just call my mom and say, "Hey, come meet us at the arboretum. It's magnolia time."

She could help me make the kids laugh so they aren't so stiff in their photos.

She could help Michael spot fish and exclaim over "his" ducks.

She could witness the turtles so happy to see the sun that they piled on top of one another to be closer to it.

She might even grow tired of the children shouting, "Look at this Mugga!"

But probably not.

We all do our part so that our family feels close even as we are far away. Still I wish she were here today.

We love you!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

As Good A Day As Any

I intended to write this post yesterday as it was the 95th birthday of the beloved Beverly Cleary*. Her Ramona books were among the first I checked out (over and over and over again) from my grade school library, read on my own, and held a deep and abiding love for. They were part of my first private reading - where the voices and characters came to life in my own mind, rather than being read aloud by my parents or even a teacher. (Although several teachers did read us Cleary books and that was awesome too.) One's private reading life is something I have thought a lot about lately as more and more often I come upon scenes like this:

I was so, so thrilled when Harper began to learn to read. It was an exhilarating journey to share with her and I loved being witness to the transformation that took place as she moved from sounding out first words to fluently reading sentences, then paragraphs, then pages, and now many entire books all by herself. She can't read everything but I'm impressed by what she is capable of, and so incredibly proud of her. And all of a sudden, I feel a little panicked, too. Our shared reading is slowly but surely becoming HER reading.  She doesn't need me to be much of a part of it anymore.

I feel fortunate to know that it is still valuable to keep reading aloud to children who have learned to read themselves and in the fact that Harper still allows us to read to her. She often pleads with us to, "Please read with LOTS of expression!" Our days of shared reading are not over yet, but I see where this road is leading and suddenly I feel like she blew threw a critical phase of the whole reading together thing and is moving forward while I'm back here yelling, "Wait! We haven't read Owl at Home! Or all of the Mr. Putter and Tabby books! Or every Henry and Mudge!" Cynthia Rylant and Arnold Lobel alone could have kept us in delightful reading material for years... I kept thinking there was so much time. Sigh.

I'm also starting to come to terms with the fact that I might not read everything she reads. I want to know and talk about what she is reading but our tastes do not always align well. As much as I want to share reading with her I feel no need whatsoever to delve into any more Barbie chapter books like the one she recently brought home from her school library. When I saw that thing I was exceedingly grateful that she can read on her own!

She's all loose teeth, gaping smile, wrapped up in a book by herself.

My beautiful baby.

*If you don't know Beverly Cleary's mouse books and have a child in 1st -3rd grade or so (boy or girl) you really should know them. They are wonderful. HUGE hits when read aloud to each one of my first grade classes. They are The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Runaway Ralph, and Ralph S. Mouse.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Thoughts on Blogs and Blogging

A few weeks ago, when I was interviewed about blogging, I was frustratingly tongue-tied. (Number of times it took me to correctly spell tongue, about fifteen, I have always had trouble spelling that word.) Afterward I thought and thought and thought about how I came to blogging over five years ago and why I still do it today.

I laugh now to think about what a BIG DECISION it seemed to begin blogging. Somewhere I have a couple of notebook pages with possible blog titles on them. Midwest Mom surely wasn't a stroke of genius, but I guess it seemed better than whatever else I'd thought of at the time. I worried a lot about whether I would have anything to say... I wondered whether anyone would read it. I also wondered whether I would want anyone to read it. For a long time I contemplated blogging anonymously but ultimately decided that part of the point was to share our lives with the family members and friends who were far away. For me, making the decision to blog non-anonymously also meant making a decision to leave some things out of the blog. 

Have I ever written before about what a lifeline some parenting blogs were to me in Harper's early days? I felt like I'd found a secret club where people told the truth and it was okay not to 100% love everything about parenting all the time. I didn't know if I could be that kind of lifeline for someone else, someday, but I try to hold myself to a certain degree of truth-telling in this space. I love my kids and I love being a parent, but I hope I am open and honest about the less-than-glamorous aspects of this job and the many, many faults I have discovered in myself while doing it. 

I do wonder how things will evolve over time. Harper is definitely aware that I share stories and pictures online and I know in the not too distant future there will come a time when she won't want me sharing so much about her. And I imagine the same will happen with Michael. Maybe that will be a natural conclusion to writing in this space? Maybe it will evolve as I evolve and I will find things beyond potty-training, speech therapy, and TV limits to discuss?

Another wonder I have - and I try very hard to stop myself from asking very often - is who is reading here? Some of you I know, of course. I know that some people read every time there is something new and others only check in once in a while. I think there are a few people who click over from Facebook and a few who read through Google Reader - but I have no idea how either of those things come together and fit with the number my counter says come here from day to day. Mostly I make peace with the fact that I will never really know those things, but I still wonder. Just like I wonder how, if you don't know me in person, you got here in the first place. If you never leave a comment, why not? Don't be shy!

I have said that I would write here even if no one reads because it is such a good tool for reflecting and such a good record of my children's lives. But one of the things I love about blogging is the sense of being part of this larger community and reading your thoughts makes me feel more a part of the conversation, rather than just an eavesdropper. 

So here we are, 827 (!) posts in, and I guess I want to thank you for reading and say how glad I am I started doing this and how grateful I am to have staked a claim in this community - even if Twitter is slowly making me obsolete.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Tender Heart

I think we all love all of our children - no one is going to argue that - but am I the only one who sometimes feels differently toward my children? It makes sense, right? We have lots of friends and family we love, but our feelings toward them aren't all identical. I know my children are young and have lots of growing and changing left to do. I know my feelings about who they are and what they need from me will also change over time.

Harper needs her mom the way all kids do, but she has never really seemed to need extra from me, and seems to be actively pushing a way from me much of the time.

Michael is a totally different beast. Where Harper pushes, Michael curls in, snuggles, clings. There are days I swear he would crawl back into the womb if he could.

As I tuck Michael in at night he always asks me, tearfully, to stay in his room. When I ask why he wants me to stay the answer is always the same, "Becat me luf you." (Because I love you.)

If I am leaving the house he always looks at me and says, "You no go."

It is April and finally, three days in a row, he didn't cry when I dropped him off at school. (But don't worry too much, he never cried for more than a few seconds after I left.)

Last week, in the midst of our time with visitors, I had to run with Michael to his first dentist appointment.

Waiting room Michael - BEFORE the traumatic dental experience.
Can you imagine how well my sensitive boy liked having strangers poke around in his mouth? He did NOT. And I underestimated how difficult it would be as Harper's first dental visit ended up being a piece of cake.
There was a lot of screaming, thrashing, begging to go home. We'd get him to calm down (he was trying so hard to cooperate) and then as soon as he felt any kind of dental instrument in his mouth he would freak out all over again. It was horrible.

The hygienist had the patience of a saint and remained very calm, for which I am so grateful. I had some serious cut and run reflexes firing in my brain. It feels completely unnatural to force a child to stay in a situation which he perceives as being terrifying/painful - especially one that goes on for a significant amount of time. Handling vaccinations pales in comparison to this dental experience - at least they are over quickly.

SOMEHOW his teeth eventually were cleaned and he even tried to put on a brave smile for a picture. You'll notice he was allowed to rinse the old fashioned way - the hygienist knew not to go near him with the squirter and suction things!

To add insult to injury the dentist himself snapped at me when he was trying to get a look at Michael's teeth. He wanted me to be quiet (I was still doing my best frantic verbal calming) so he could talk to Michael, which is fine, but I wasn't the screaming three-year-old and I would have appreciated some manners.

By the time we got back into the car I was exhausted and shaking - which sounds kind of ridiculous now but you weren't there - you didn't hear the screaming.

The whole dental thing just made me think about how deep my instinct is to want to shield Michael from the world.

Of course I don't want Harper to be hurt or scared or sad either. She just seems...tougher, somehow. I worry a little less about what the world is going to throw her way because she strikes me as such a capable kid.

I don't want to protect Michael to the point that I am holding him back. I hope I am just honoring who he is and how he is different from his sister. He needs a little more hand-holding for now. Whether it is a boy/girl thing or first/second child thing or just a Harper/Michael thing - he doesn't seem in such a hurry to grow up and that's really fine with me.


P.S. A few weeks ago Lucy Sisman interviewed me - the resulting profile is running on her website this week.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Picture Time!

Yes, this is one of those posts that might not be of interest to many people. As opposed to my typical posts which obviously appeal to the masses...Anyway, those of you who know both Tracy and I might get a kick out of seeing a glimpse of her visit.

Here are a few pictures from last week (Was it only last week?!) when my friend Tracy and her 3 (!) beautiful daughters made the drive from St. Louis to visit with us. They arrived on Sunday. On Monday day we were also joined by another college friend, Lesley, who thoughtfully brought gifts for all five kids.

Ruth and Harper exclaim over their new Disney Princess lip gloss.

Miriam looks on as Michael drives his new cars.

On Tuesday we decided the weather had warmed up just enough that we could sneak the kids out to the park to burn up some energy after naps. We took Tracy and her daughters to a newly renovated city playground.
Harper is in the middle of that giant slide - see how tiny she looks - that thing is HUGE!

Harper and Ruth conquered the climbing logs, over and over and over...

Martha and Michael took the little kids' equipment for a test drive.

Miriam and Harper chillin' in the kitchen before dinner. My kids could not keep their hands off Miriam - they loved having a baby around!
Look at how full our kitchen table is! When it is just the four of us we fit comfortably around it we don't need the leaf. I loved having such a full table (we even tucked a little table in the corner for Ruth and Harper)!

Eventually (Wednesday morning) we had to say goodbye. It was so much fun having them visit and I hope we haven't scared them into never coming back!
It was fairly impossible to get a photo of all the kids looking in the same direction, let alone smiling! Somehow they seem fewer sitting on this couch together than they did when they were running loose...

Michael was in LOVE with Miriam. He is still insisting he's going to marry her and gets really upset when Harper asks him to choose someone else - that is what passes for lunchtime conversation BTW.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Follow Up and Fundraising

Wouldn't you know, the kids did wear us down, sort of. We compromised by letting them sleep in the family room at the back of the house and telling them they'd be moved to their rooms if they weren't asleep by 9:00. Harper and Michael were absolutely giddy at the prospect of camping out. Miraculously, they did fall asleep. Even better? In the morning they woke up and Harper popped in a movie - delaying the waking of the parents. We may have to give in to this kind of camping more often!

Yes, that's Harper's head poking out of a Smurf sleeping bag!

The March of Dimes dress fundraiser was a HUGE success. My friend Liz donated over $400 from the sale of the dresses to our March for Babies team, helping us exceed even our adjusted goal. Since there is nearly a month to go before our walk I plan to continue fundraising (and gently reminding you that it isn't too late to contribute). 

Someone recently asked how we managed to raise so much money. The easy (and not necessarily helpful) answer is that we are blessed with incredibly generous family and friends who support us in a million ways, donating to our March for Babies team being one of them. Here are the other things that I find helpful:

1. Don't be afraid to ask. This is the third-year we've raised money for March for Babies. At the beginning of each year I send out one mass email to pretty much everyone on my contact list asking them to donate. Matt does the same. I feel like one email isn't too intrusive, and easy enough for people to delete if they so choose. In the past if we hadn't quite met our goal and were getting close to the walk date I did send a reminder email.

2. Use social media. I have continuously/shamelessly begged for donations through this blog and through Facebook. I figure those things are easy enough to skim/ignore if you have already donated or don't care to donate. And people don't feel compelled to respond if they can't/don't want to donate the way they might with an email or in-person request.

3. Start early! This year was our earliest start yet. I think starting early helps eliminate a situation in which a person might want to donate but just doesn't get around to it quickly enough. 

4. Make it personal. For several years I agreed to mail out neighborhood envelopes asking for donations for various causes. While I would occasionally get some money back I eventually stopped doing it because the return didn't even seem worth the time it took to address the envelopes. Yet, even in a difficult economy, we've been very successful fundraising for the March of Dimes three years in a row. People close to us understand what we went through when Michael was born and know we feel strongly about the importance of the work done by the March of Dimes. I know that I am more inclined to respond to a donation request when I know WHY the recipient is important to the person asking for money.

5. Create partnerships where possible. The dresses Liz made were a huge help to us this year and she's already agreed to think about doing the same next year, as well as also creating a March of Dimes shirt for little boys to go with the dresses. Another friend makes stamped cards and has offered to sell bundles of them to raise money for our team in 2012. 

How about you? Do you have any terrific fundraising tips? I'm already thinking of next year!

Friday, April 01, 2011


  • It is April Fool's Day, but I'm letting you know right now that there are no pranks in this post. Not that there will even be anything you'd likely think was a prank....
  • My kids think they are camping in the living room tonight - despite my repeated reminders that they do not have permission to sleep in the living room tonight. They have a whole thing set up, including having set out their clothes for tomorrow.
  • I took Harper to have professional photos taken today, wanting to capture the toothless grin before her adult teeth give her a crazy looking mouth for the next few years. It was bunny time at the photo place and Michael even wormed his way in for a few shots. We did not go there for bunny pictures and yet I ended up purchasing some - slick move photo place.
  • It is the LAST DAY to purchase the March of Dimes dresses/tops my friend Liz created with 100% of the proceeds going to our March for Babies team. Links to the details are in my previous post, in the sidebar, and all over my Facebook profile. Thanks to everyone who has already supported us and/or shared the links!
  • We're Catholic, it is Lent, it is Friday - that means fish for dinner (no meat today). I'm going to try lightly breading and baking some haddock fillets. I really like cod but I'm finding it tricky to cook because it is so thick... if you have any good fish recipes for a picky family, let me know. 
  • We just signed Harper up for a second round of acting classes - this makes me want to do a larger post about the kinds of opportunities we decide to offer our children. Thoughts?
  • My kids are lining up next to me for an after lunch Girl Scout Cookie, elbowing each other and arguing over who gets his/her cookie first. There are only two of them - it is ridiculous.
  • I highly recommend having visitors during spring break because here we are on the technical last day of spring break and the kids aren't driving me completely bonkers yet. In a related note: Who wants to visit us this summer?
The camping set up - please note the dress and leotard hanging at the corner of the fire place. Those are for dance time. Guess who gets the leotard.